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Golf News: - Posted 21st October 1998

El Nino versus El Tigre in next year's Ryder Cup?

Bordeaux, France - How about El Nino vs. El Tigre in the Ryder Cup next year? Seve Ballesteros says he wouldn't be surprised if Sergio Garcia, the 18-year-old Spanish amateur known as ''El Nino,'' winds up on Europe's team next year. Garcia, who won the British Amateur and beat Matt Kuchar in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur, plans to turn pro after The Masters, leaving him only 20 events to earn enough points.

''There is no question I think Sergio could make the Ryder Cup team next year,'' Ballesteros said. ''It will be difficult because he misses half of the season before he turns professional, but he is such a great prospect. Even if he does not collect enough points, (captain) Mark James might pick him.''

Even if Garcia doesn't make the European team, he may get a chance to go toe-to-toe with Tiger Woods at Augusta. Mark O'Meara said he's trying to arrange a Tuesday practice round that would pit him and Woods against Garcia and U.S. Amateur champion Hank Kuehne.

''Two amateurs can play with an old pro and a young pro and see if they can give us a whipping,'' O'Meara said.